Running for Yogis – with Sarah Ridley

I was lucky enough to run my first 5k this year!

As a person who believes that running should only happen in bathroom emergency situations, I was a little nervous. But I believed in the cause and wanted to step outside my comfort zone a bit.

As you guys know, I love using yoga to build community and one of the most important aspects of my own yogic practice is my Seva, or Selfless Service.

“The word “Seva” is a Sanskrit word often associated with the facet of yoga  meaning “service.” However, it is more than just a simple desire to help others. As Swami Niranjan explains it, “seva” is actually composed of two words, “saha,” which means “with that,” and “eva,” which means “too.” Taken as a whole, the word “seva” means “together with” and describes the actions that seek collective uplifting through the understanding of the needs of others and are based on togetherness and integration. It is an expression of compassion for others and a genuine desire to uplift those around you. 

Through the spirit of selfless action, when we have nothing to gain and nothing to lose by not doing, performing acts of Seva through our actions, we attain that height of realization into a higher level of consciousness. The practice of Seva becomes a path to self-realization which is the essence of yoga.”



The Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program was established in Beaumont, Texas, in 1994 by Regina Rogers as a tribute to her mother, Julie, a breast cancer survivor, who had a double mastectomy in 1988 and who died following complications from a stroke and heart attack in 1998. Originally dedicated to providing free mammograms for medically under-served women, in the past twelve years, the organization’s services have multiplied and the agency has grown into one of the largest cancer screening initiatives of its type in the state of Texas.
In 2000, the Gift of Life broadened its breast cancer mission to include prostate cancer, offering free screenings and educational presentations for men.
Since the organization’s inception, the Gift of Life has diagnosed nearly 275 medically under-served Southeast Texas women and men with cancer and navigated them into treatment



When I read about the Gift Of Life – 5K Color Rush I knew this event would be the perfect way to to try something new, bring people together, and support a great cause so I jumped right in!

(But not without a little help)


My dear friend Sarah is a yogi, a runner, and one of my favorite road trip partners. I went right to her for some advice on how to get started and believe me, this beauty is a wealth of knowledge! I was so grateful for her advice, I asked her to condense it down and write a guest blog for us so I could share this wisdom with you all as well.


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Here is Sarah and I nice and clean before the race… it didn’t last long.

So…. Here we go!


Tips and Tricks for Running Your First 5K

– Sarah Ridley



For 2018, I set a few fitness goals: run a race every month, and complete my yoga certification. I completed my yoga certification this summer with Black Swan Yoga in Houston, and ask me about my monthly race goal in December (only 2 races left)!

As hectic and exhausting as my summer schedule was, completing my yoga certification while training for races only made me love the two activities more.

Running and yoga complement each other in so many ways: both are meditative practices, both require breath control (or pranayama), and both are equipment-minimal activities. All you need is a pair of running shoes and a yoga mat, and some people argue convincingly that you don’t need either. You also don’t technically need an awesome community full of runners and yogis either, but racing and yoga aren’t any fun without new friends! It’s a lovely riddle how two seemingly solitary activities inspire the best communities with rad events like yoga festivals, races, workshops, and running clubs.


Here are a few things I’ve learned from this year of running, racing, training, and yoga:


  1. Before a run, try dynamic stretches.
    • I like 20 squats, 20 lunges, 20 jumping jacks.
    • There are lots of opinions and conflicting reports about dynamic vs static stretching before a run, and I’m not here for that drama. I’ve just found that dynamic stretches before I run means less knee and leg pain after I run.
  2. Practice yoga after a race. Do it! Your warmed up leg muscles and hip muscles will thank you.
  3. When it comes to races, go for a few easy jogs during race week. Don’t overdo it!
    • The week of the race is not the time to start Crossfit, run 7 miles for the first time, or roll your ankle because you just had to go running in the rain. (Guess which one I did.)
  4. Before race day, read any pre-race e-mails or social media posts to check your information.
    • Look at where you’re going to park and where the important places are: starting line, port-a-potties, registration. Race day can be hectic, and you’ll want to start the race feeling confident instead of lost.

  5. Finally, have fun!
    • If you’re not enjoying training, running, yoga, or any of it, find something else! Believe me: there’s a awesome community out there for you.



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Look at this Beast!





Our Team MBYoga Tribe was small but mighty and we took that Color Run by storm!
I loved every moment of this event and getting to spend time with these wonderful women and I cannot wait to do it again next year.

Keep an eye on the MBY website and Facebook for info on the 2019 run!

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